How to use a telephone

I’m feeling a bit dumb. I had to make a work phone call to a company today, a big company, and I was feeling nervous. I’m not good on the phone. I prefer text or even video. Nevertheless I was fully prepared and sitting waiting by the telephone for a good 30 minutes before the scheduled time. The time arrived and I suddenly realised I didn’t know how to dial the number! It had been given to me with the +44 in front and of course when I tried dialling that it didn’t work. I started to panic and perhaps because of this I couldn’t think how to dial the number. One minute went by, two minutes went by …. Then I dialled the other number they gave me – an international number to a different country – and that worked so I heaved a sigh of relief. When the call was over I realised all I needed to do was drop the +44 and add 0. Is that embarrassing or what?

Will we still have telephones in the future? I remember when telephones looked like this:


I wonder whether kids today would know how to work one of those?

11 responses to “How to use a telephone”

  1. Brilliant; that could so be me! I struggled with the car the other day until I remembered the key was now electronic and you just pressed a button with the clutch down. Why do they keep changing things?

  2. It took me ages to realise the + is 00 and vice versa. But that’s the funny thing when your mind starts to panic; you can’t think straight at all.
    As to the old phone, we had those for ages here and I’d dial 14 numbers to get thro to my Mum in UK. It was always engaged at Christmas (limited international lines) and you had to dial over and over and over. In the end I started using a pencil to turn the dial with, because my finger was so sore! 🙂

    • Oh I can only imagine how annoying it must have been to dial 14 numbers over and over again with one of those phones.

      When I was panicking all I could think of was, “I don’t know the 5 digit area code?”. But of course it was right there in front of me, just minus the first zero.

  3. I heard that Fisher Price, which makes toys for young children, is phasing out their Chatter Phone because so few children know what it is.

    I found one at a jumble shop for $5, but I didn’t buy it because I worried my grandchildren would just stare at it and think it was strange. (Grandson is easily spooked by odd things.) That said, I am not a phone person. I love to text and use WhatsApp and email, but talking on the phone sometimes makes me so ill I have to tell the person on the other end I have to end the conversation RIGHT NOW. I especially hate it when an employer schedules a phone interview. Friends have told me it’s better than the traditional face-to-face interview, but I tend to freeze up and babble incoherently. And if the interviewer is late calling, I have a difficult time not freaking out. Those extra minutes of waiting make me crazy!

    • I don’t like speaking on the phone either and would much prefer to talk in person or via text. I would never want to do a telephone interview. I’m not sure what it is that I dislike – I guess you have the voice but without the body language.

  4. Or on a mobile phone, you can touch or press and hold the 0 key until it changes to + 🙂
    Well, who knows this until they get a chance to try at least once. You are more learned now; this is the not the opposite of being dumb or embarrassing 😀

    • If I’d used my mobile phone it would have been fine because I could have kept the country code +44. The problem was that you can’t do that from a landline if you’re inside that country 🙂

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